How To Avoid Burnout: 7 Must-Do’s To Prevent Burnout Syndrome - XO, Tara Wagner

Words By Tara Wagner

How To Avoid Burnout: 7 Must-Do’s To Prevent Burnout Syndrome

Woman in bd with a blanket over her head

Feeling frazzled and worn out and trying to figure out how to avoid burnout before it’s too late?

Burnout syndrome is more dangerous than you realize, but these business, mindset, and self-care strategies will help you turn things around faster.

Watch here or read on below.

How To Avoid Burnout: 7 Must-Do’s To Prevent Burnout Syndrome Click To Tweet

If you are starting to feel tired, frazzled, and pulled in too many different directions and just a little burnt out and you’re wanting to avoid getting to that final stage of burnout where you can do nothing else but throw in the towel… let’s talk about some things that you can do to actually get off of that path now.

I’ve talked about the symptoms of burnout (you can check out that blog here, or watch the video here). I’ve talked about how to recover from burnout once you’re there… but really what do you do to avoid it?

Let’s talk about the 7 things that you need to be paying attention to in order to make sure that you can stay on a path that leads to fulfillment, that leads to success, that leads to enjoyment, that leads to happiness, and that does not lead to burning out. 

#1 – identify your precursors

Number one, you must identify your precursors to stress.

Stress is what burnout is, right? Massive amounts of stress in the body even good stress leads to burning the body out, burning the mind out. What you want to do is identify the things that lead to stress, getting proactive about it. What are the things before you start to feel stressed out?

This is tricky because really what you’re looking for are patterns and it takes time to identify these.

An example, one of the things that I started to notice was before I started to feel burnt out or fatigued, or tired, or whatever it was… I would first start to crave a lot of carbs. My body was saying “We need more energy! We need more energy!” as my tank was getting lower I was craving more carbs. This is my sign that I need to adjust some things.

Once I noticed that pattern I could then make those adjustments.

You might notice a pattern for yourself that when you start working past your predetermined stop time, that’s going to lead to more stress even if you’re excited to do that work, even if you want to keep going you might know that that’s your pattern, that’s your precursor that’s going to lead you to stress.

If you’ve ever dealt with burnout in the past I highly recommend that you look back and try to figure out what were the things that I was doing before I started feeling burnt out because those are the things that you want to identify now so that you can start avoiding them.

Woman in white ceramic bathtub reading.
#2 – schedule self-care like a biz task

Number two, you need to schedule self-care as though it is a business task.

I talked about this in I don’t know how many videos now. I definitely talked about this in my video on managing a business with chronic illnesses. This was one of my turnaround points, to really put my self-care as a business task, not on my personal to-do list, but my business to-do list because things on that list, get done.

So when you start to do this – when you start to prioritize it as though it’s that important (because it is) you maintain the energy necessary to get the other things done.

So even though you’re taking away some time from your business, you’re actually adding in more productivity because you have the energy to do so.

So what are the self-care things that you know you need to do and how can you prioritize them as though they’re a client, as though they’re a customer? Somebody you’re not going to cancel, something that you’re not going to neglect.

You also need to make sure that you’re scheduling this before you think you need it so you’re getting proactive with your self-care. Not using it as a response to fatigue, but using it as a response to keeping your energy high.

You want to think of this like a battery pack. If you are running that battery all the way down to zero it takes a long time to recharge it, but if you’re using that battery up and then recharging, using it up and recharging, it doesn’t take that long to get a full charge. What you want to do is keep your battery at 60% or above. If you start dipping below 60 that’s where you know you’re in the danger zone.

I know that when you’ve got business and you’ve got family and you’ve got life this gets harder to do you have less and less time for this so check out my FREE guide Self-Care In Seconds at the end.

girl in bed sleeping
#3 – prioritize sleep above all else

Number three is to prioritize your sleep above everything else.

Literally everything else in your business. When it comes to your health the three most important things for health and well-being are oxygen, right? We don’t get far without that one. Water- also don’t get far without that one and then sleep. Before food, before exercise, before all of the other things that you’re prioritizing as health care you got to make sure that you’re getting enough sleep.

If you’re exercising that’s more stress. If you’re trying to eat really well but you don’t have enough sleep that’s going to be stress on your body and you’re going to have a hard time just digesting things because your body’s so worn out.

So if you can’t do anything else for your self-care except prioritize your sleep, making sure you’re getting good quality sleep and that you’re getting enough of it, and that you’re waking up feeling rested – make that happen.

That’s gonna take you further than exercise and diet will.

I know that that is like gonna upset a lot of people but it’s true. Sleep has to come first. Talk to anybody in the health or fitness industries and they will tell you if somebody’s not getting adequate sleep they’re not going to lose weight, they’re not going to gain muscle, they’re not going to have energy, they’re not going to have anything.

Sleep comes before all of those other things on your self-care list.

So when you look at that self-care that you’re prioritizing make sure sleep is number one even if you’ve got to neglect some other stuff for now. 

#4 – do less but better

Number four is to do less but better.

I’ve talked about this in I don’t know how many videos now and just recently talked about this in fact, the importance of doing less, of focusing right.

If you haven’t seen the 3-2-1 Strategy to help you focus and make more progress watch that video because what you’re really gonna understand is that doing less is doing more.

It’s a cliche for a reason because it’s absolutely 100% true. I know we have this hustle culture right now that says we just need to burn ourselves out. I’m not against hustling, you’re gonna do some hustling in your life if you want to get anywhere, absolutely. But we need to understand the difference between healthy hustle and unhealthy hustle.

Unhealthy hustle says you have to do it all, healthy hustle says you need to do the right things well.

I want you to focus on doing the right things well not trying to do everything so-so. So this means as you’re doing less you’re doing better in terms of making them more efficient. You’re doing better in terms of making your time more efficient.

So this could mean smoothing things out, making your systems and processes easier so that you can do things better and faster. This might also mean something like time batching, so putting similar things together so that you can really get into a flow with things.

When it comes to avoiding burnout this is probably the hardest one because it is that desire to do more, to do all the things. It’s that difficulty of saying no to ourselves or saying no to good things that lead us to burning out. Because this is the hardest one I want to challenge you below to comment with one thing, just one thing you know you get to let go of so that you can do more of the right things and do them well. 

Unhealthy hustle says you have to do it all, healthy hustle says you need to do the right things well. Click To Tweet
#5 – identify energy leaks

When it comes to avoiding burnout, number five is to identify your energy leaks.

Look at the work that you’re doing, look at your business, look at your life even. What are the things that are really draining you of energy? Where are the things that take too much time and focus from you? They’re probably not your Zone Of Genius, they’re probably not the thing you got in business for, right? Maybe this is bookkeeping, maybe this is managing social media or managing an inbox, maybe this is – whatever it might be – inventory.

Look at the things for yourself that you are most struggling with energy-wise these are the things that are leaking your energy, they’re the hole in your boat.

  • What can you do to plug up that hole?
  • What can you do to outsource those things?
  • What can you do to ask for help?
  • What can you do to even rearrange your business so that those things are no longer a part of it? 
Fuel Your Passion in handwriting-esque neon lights
#6 – move toward your Zone Of Genius

Number six is moving towards your Zone of Genius.

Figuring out the ways that you can spend more time doing the things that you’re really good at, that give you energy and that create results in your business, and then reinvesting those financial results into ways to put yourself into that Zone Of Genius even more. So outsourcing, hiring the right people, getting the right systems in place, doing what you can to optimize the other areas of your business so that you’re spending less mental and physical energy on them.

Get creative here because the more you’re spending time on the things that are not your Zone Of Genius, the more tired you’re going to become, the more burnt out you’re going to become.

I know that this is tricky and sometimes we get to be a little sloppy in our business focusing on the income-producing activities, focusing on the things that give us energy, focusing on the things that will create results in our business, neglecting some other stuff, not important stuff, but some stuff until we get to the point where we’re making enough money that we can outsource those things and then taking that money and reinvesting it back into our business to buy ourselves more time, to buy ourselves more energy so that we can get more and more into our Zone Of Genius.

Over time, this isn’t going to happen overnight but over time, you want to be working 70-80-90% of the time in your Zone Of Genius – having people on your team helping you with the other things that maybe you’re good at, but they take a lot from you in order to get them done. Or maybe you’re just not good at them at all but they need to get done and you gotta have somebody filling in that seat, making sure that aspect of the business is being taken care of so you can focus where you know you’re meant to focus. 

#7 – don’t overdo good things

And then number seven on how to avoid burnout is to not overdo good things.

The first phase of burnout is called the Honeymoon Phase, when you’re super excited, when you’re super amped you’re spending lots of time and energy on something and you want to because you’re having so much fun. Maybe you’re getting results from it, maybe it’s just a fun challenge but you’re enjoying the process.

That is the first stage of burnout, that’s the warning sign that you need to look for.

Even good stress is still stress and over time that stress still wears down on your body, mind, mental energy, creativity, etc. Then all of that fulfillment that you’re feeling now starts to wear away because you just don’t have the energy to do what it is that you want to be doing.

That hustle culture contributes to this as well because we have that constant pressure to be on, to be on all the social media platforms, answering our phone or answering our emails. To be on every single strategy… We have this sense of like “if I don’t do this thing then maybe I won’t be successful”, so and so says this is the path to success and this person says this is the path and that person says this is a path so I might as well do them all and then we wonder why we’re struggling and burnt out and hating our businesses or hating our work.

It’s because we can’t be on all the time.

We get to learn how to say no we get to learn first.

Tips to help you to do this:

We need to learn how to say no to ourselves because if we love it and we want to do it, it’s so much harder to slow ourselves down and to pace ourselves.

  • Put some boundaries around those notifications on your phone turn them off – use your do not disturb, use your screen time settings so that things are not accessible to you when you don’t want them to be accessible.
  • Prioritize rest – This doesn’t just mean sleep this means physical and mental rest which means play, which means creativity, which means doing things outside of your business that has nothing to do with your business. So that you’ve got that creative spark to come back and give to your work.

    This means: scheduling actual vacations, scheduling three-day weekends, scheduling more breaks throughout your day, giving yourself more charge points, so that that battery’s not getting below 60% you’re keeping it fully charged so you’re able to run at the optimum level.

    It’s like if you have a phone that’s trying to run at two percent battery we all know the phone starts getting slow, it lags, it’s not working properly. You gotta be charged if you wanna be able to do any good. 
Nothing changes if nothing changes

I want you to think about where you’re at right now in terms of burnout and I want you to remember that nothing changes if nothing changes.

If you don’t get in front of it now, if you don’t get proactive, if you don’t start putting in some boundaries, if you don’t start creating some systems, doing the things that are going to help you to avoid burnout, then the trajectory that you’re on is going to lead you to burnout until you change that trajectory. You may feel like you’re only two degrees off the center, but you stay on that trajectory for long enough, and pretty soon that two degrees turn into a lot more.

So what I’m talking about here is making sure that you’re course-correcting and keeping yourself at center, keeping yourself balanced, keeping yourself focused, keeping yourself well taken care of so that you’re moving forward and not veering off to the side. 

in short…

So really how do you avoid burnout?

You avoid burnout by how you’re taking care of yourself. If you struggle to take care of yourself, or you struggle to stick with it make sure that you’re subscribed for my next video because that’s exactly what I’m going to talk about. Make sure you check out my last blog on the Symptoms of Burnout (or video). Just basically absorb yourself in all things burnout and self-care so that you can really just brainwash your head to getting you on that right trajectory.

Self-care in seconds

If you need more support with that make sure you also check out the Self-Care in Seconds training below to teach you the mindset shifts that you need to have as well as some really practical strategies that you can fit into any sort of busy life no matter how busy you are, I’ve got strategies for you.

What about you, boss lady?

What is one of YOUR precursors to burnout? What almost always happens before you find yourself burned out?

Scroll down to leave your comments below!

xoTara-teal

Love it? Share it?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

Categories

Wanna hear when fresh posts land?

About The Author

Wanna hear when fresh posts land?

By submitting your info, you’re agreeing to my Privacy Policy. I will never share your info in any way (I hate that too), and you may opt-out at any time.

Grab the Free Self-Care in Seconds Training

Learn 3 crucial mindset shifts and 50+ ways to fill your cup while rocking your biz

Get it sent directly to your email.

(Privacy Policy: Your Info is 100% Secure and Never, Ever Shared. Cuz I hate spam too.)